ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to draw horses and become an equine artist

Updated on January 23, 2009


As a child, I had always been enamored of horses and since I lived in a big city, the only way to make my dream of owning a horse come true was through drawing and painting horse portraits and hanging them on my walls. While, I never became a famous painter, I had a couple of exhibitions and my horse paintings were very popular.

No animal in my opinion, equals the perfect proportions, the majesty and the beauty of a horse. Whether you use pencil and paper, acrylic or tempera or oil on canvas, it takes some special skills to become an equine artist. There are special rules to abide to, and unlike drawing a tree where an artists has the freedom of deciding how tall, how big and how rich in foliage the tree can be, a horse portrait requires attention to detail.

A good way to start is to become familiar with the horse anatomy. The great Italian painter, Leonardo Da Vinci did profound studies on horses. He studied the muscles and bones and a lot of his beautiful studies are still available to view today. These studies are very helpful to aspiring equine artists and they were fundamental for Leonardo's career as a sculptor. Most were done with the use of red chalk.

 When I attended a nude art academy in Italy, I must admit I was a bit disappointed to learn that our first lessons consisted of tedious theoretical studies of the human bones and muscles. We had to draw bones and muscles for days. Never did I realize the big impact such studies had on our final portraits. Such muscle and bone studies ultimately allowed artists to unveil what hid under the skin, grasping a better understanding of the influence of such structures in their final piece of art.

Observing real life horses is a must. Not only can one capture the beauty, but an aspiring equine artist can also get accustomed with the various movements of the body and posture. Observant artists will also see how the light plays on the horse's skin creating various lights and shadows that may not be visible from a picture.

Drawing a horses' head may be somehow challenging. There are lots of hills and valleys created by bones, muscles and veins protruding. Capturing these lights and shadows will allow the artist to create life like portraits.

As a horse lover, I must say that the Arabian horse's facial features are one of the best to draw. The beauty of such pure blood horses has no equals. Their eyes are large and expressive and their head is slim with protruding veins and bony structures.       I used to love adding "life" to my horse's eyes but putting a small white dot right on the dark brown pupils.

Horses make great models and their beauty has fascinated many retro and modern artists throughout the years. As challenging as it may be to portray equines, one must admit that the results give satisfaction like no other, whether you draw to add a piece of art to your living room or simply dream of owning a horse just as I did as a child..


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)